Charles Barclay has responded to criticism of golfers who chose to jump into the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, and is said to be in talks about joining the series as a broadcaster.
Participants in LIV Golf were screened for joining the league for huge sums of money. Critics have pointed to alleged human rights abuses by Saudi Arabia and accusations of the kingdom’s involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Barkley told the New York Post on Wednesday that he spoke to LIV Golf Commissioner Greg Norman about the league’s critics.
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“I told [Norman], listen, they make up words like “blood money” and “sports wash.” I said, “We all took ‘friendly’, and we all did our ‘sport wash’ thing, so I don’t like those words, to be honest with you,” Barkley said.
“If you play a professional sport, you’re taking kind of money from a not-so-great cause.”
When asked if the NBA’s relationship with China is an example, Barkley replied, “Yes, I don’t want to practice selective rage.”
Barclay was asked if it was different given that LIV Golf is directly backed by the Public Investment Fund, the financial arm of the Saudi government, from which he will receive his salary.
Former Ryder Cup captain Badrge Harrington feels no sympathy for Henrik Stenson after he joins golf at Liv
Now, those are semantics,” Barkley said. “I’m a Nike guy too, so I’m not going to do this thing where I pick and choose what I get angry at, and where my money comes from. I don’t think that’s fair. I think that makes you a hypocrite.”
It was rumored that Barkley is meeting with LIV Golf officials about possibly becoming an anchor for the series. He is currently an analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” programme. LIV Golf pro-am is expected to play at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.
He confirmed that some of his supporters had contacted him about a possible meeting with LIV Golf officials. He said he told them he hadn’t met anyone yet.
He told them, “Let’s let this thing happen before you all call me upset.”
Three other PGA Tour pros joined LIV Golf this week.
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Henrik Stenson, Jason Kokrac and Charles Howell III were the last to jump ship. Stinson lost the Ryder Cup captain because of it.